Collage: an assemblage or occurrence of diverse elements or fragments in unlikely or unexpected juxtaposition

I’ve been making collages since my grandmother let me cut up old Sears catalogs and paste the bits into my own wishbook. For our twenty-fifth anniversary, I assembled a jumble of family pictures and every weird thing my husband has ever said.

Well, not every. The collage is only 3’ X 4.’

There’s a collage-y bulletin board over my desk that’s supposed to inspire me. On it right now, pictures of the following: my four kids, adorable Ioan Gruffudd, buttons, lilacs, hollyhocks, a blue door, and beach rocks. There’s also a postcard from Graceland with Elvis’ favorite sweet potato pie recipe sent by daughter #2, a mini-collage made by daughter #3 and motivational quotes, some from fortune cookies. Inspired yet? I thought not.

My writing is a little like my Sears art and my bulletin board. There are unlikely juxtapositions everywhere. I love to do research and weave the findings in someplace. I’d like to find a use for Thomas Fletcher Waghorn’s overland route from England to India. It cut the journey from 16,000 miles to 6,000 miles, from three months to 35- 45 days. I imagined a disgruntled British army officer assigned to guard the return of a teenage heiress and her governess who would teach him a lesson or two. I even wrote the first eighteen pages. But I think even reduced, 6,000 miles might be too much for me to cover. I bet Loretta Chase could do it in her sleep, though.

What’s your favorite motivational quote or inspirational object? What interesting fact have you learned researching your books? What would you like to know more about?

On my bulletin board: ancient Chinese secrets from fresh Chinese fortune cookies

As soon as you feel too old to do a thing, do it.

Your dream must be bigger than your fear.

Instead of worrying and agonizing, move ahead constructively.

Ignorance on fire is better than knowledge on ice.

Do you know the fortune cookie trick? Add the words “in bed” to the end of every saying. That works pretty well for the examples above!

And Lenora, do the Chinese even have fortune cookies?